This book is the true story of a 20th century Candide-an innocent growing up in America in the fifties. As a boy, the author suffers the death of loved ones. Spending a year in Vietnam corrupts him. Then the political realities of the war and Watergate shatter his idealistic illusions about America. He searches for tools to reform the country that failed him. His quest becomes a frustrating pursuit. Finally, he meets a person who tells him about the life philosophy of Buddhism. He learns that the credit or blame for all of life's events lies within-not from others. Looking for happiness outside oneself is fruitless. Only by taking personal responsibility for one's own life can one be truly happy. Reforming oneself, rather than changing others, leads to a better world.